Know What You Really Want

Stephen Covey once said, “Be sure that, as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building.” 

Many people work hard to achieve goals that they think they want only to find, at the end of the day, that they get no joy or satisfaction from their accomplishments. They ask, “Is this all there is?” This occurs when the outer accomplishment is not in harmony with your inner values. Don’t let this happen to you.

Socrates said, ” The unexamined life is not worth living.”

This applies to your values as much as to any other area of your life. Values clarification is something you do on a go- forward basis. You continually stop the clock, like a time out in a football game, and ask, “What are my values in this area?”

In Mathew 16:26, the Bible says, “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

The happiest people in the world today are those who are living in harmony with their innermost convictions and values. The unhappiest people are those who are attempting to live in-congruent with what they truly value and believe.

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Design Your Perfect Calendar

Decide how you would like to live your ideal lifestyle, day in and day out. Design your perfect calendar from January to December.

1. What would you like to do on your weekends and vacations?
2. How much time would you like to take off each week, month, and year?
3. Where would you like to go?
4. How would you organize your year if you had no limitations and complete control over your time?

Proverbs 29:18 says, ” Where there is no vision, the people perish.” What this means is that if you lack an exciting vision for your future, you will “perish” inside in terms of lacking motivation and enthusiasm for what you are doing. But the reverse of this is that with an exciting future vision, you will be continuously motivated and stimulated everyday to take the actions necessary to make your ideal vision a reality.

Things You Learn When Life Doesn’t Turn Out The Way You Wanted

We often grow up with an idea of what our life will look like when we are at a certain age, more often than not, it is a realistic image, and more often than not, life doesn’t necessarily mirror the image we had for it. At that moment, we can feel inadequate, we can feel like a failure and we can feel that we failed to create the life we want or deserve, but if we take a closer look sometimes the magic is in the journey rather than the destination, it is in the lessons we learn along the way and the changes we have to go through to become the best versions of ourselves.

My life didn’t turn out to be anything like I imagined, in fact the image I had for my life doesn’t even come close to what it is now, and even though I do have my days when I brood about it and wonder where I went wrong, I still smile when I look back at the things I learned when the pieces of the puzzle didn’t fit.

1. You Learn To Steer The Wheel In Another Direction

You know how the saying goes “If you don’t bend you will break” You will find yourself face to face with your fears and your worst nightmares, but you will have to face them, even if you don’t win, even if you fall short, even if you will never be the same person again, you will navigate through them to reach your destination. It is exactly like driving, sometimes you get lost, sometimes you take roads you don’t want to take, sometimes you drive alone at night and it can get scary, sometimes you will have to stop at a red light even though you can’t wait to go home, sometimes you will get into an accident and it may or may not be your fault, but the key will always be to keep driving and steer the wheel in another direction, whatever direction leads you back home.

2. You Will Be Forced To Look Within For Validation

If you are a people person like myself, you get your energy and your validation from those around you, you always wonder do they like me? Did I say the right thing? Are they going to speak well about me? Does my boss think I’m smart enough? Will this man stay or will he get bored and leave? You constantly expend your energy on those around you and that sometimes can be the demise of your own identity and personal growth. This may sound like a cliché but it is true, the best way to use your energy is to consume it on yourself first, and be in touch with who you are regardless of what those around you think of you. You have to embrace your flaws and shortcomings while working on them rather than seek validation from those around you. It helps when someone sees something good in us that we ceased to believe and it helps when someone picks us up when we fall, but at the end of the day, it is temporary relief. If you want long-term relief, you need to seek validation from yourself first and welcome the validation of others second, but you should always come first.

3. You Might Want To Reconnect With God

“When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough.” This is one of my favorite quotes to sum up faith and life too. When things don’t go as planned, and when life gets hard, it is easy to sink in a dark hole and drown in a sea of anger, negativity and despair; also known as rock bottom. The good thing about hitting rock bottom is the fact that it allows you to reach to a higher power, ask for help, pray and seek guidance from the creator. If it takes a toll on your faith, let me assure you that you will not make it out of rock bottom easily, however if you use it as a tool to reconnect with God and strengthen your faith and the belief that God has a better plan for you and that his plans will make you happier than you ever thought you will be, you will be just fine. God sometimes gives us what we need rather than what we want, sometimes it is best not to ask questions and try to go against the ebb and flow of what God brings to our life, sometimes it is better to look up and say I know you got this, let go and keep the faith.

4.You Are Going To Lose Some People

It is a part of life, the more you know who you are and seek validation from within, the more people you are going to lose. Some people will not like it, some people will try to bring you back down, some people will hurt you, some people will walk away, some people will give up on you, and others will stab you right in the face. Only a few good ones will stick around and respect the transition, those people are the ones that are in your life to stay and will help you become your best self. I must say this is the hardest lesson, it doesn’t only require strength and self-control, it requires you to never look back, to close some doors that you so wanted to remain open. The hardest part is not letting them go, the hardest part is letting them go knowing you will not let them back in again, knowing that deep in your heart this person will cause you more damage than good and they have to go. In some cases, losing is winning.

5. It Will Make You A Better Person

Finally, when your life doesn’t turn out the way you wished for, it will humble you. It will make you a kinder person, a more sympathetic person, a wiser person, a stronger person, a less judgmental person, a deeper person, or simply it will make you human. You will learn that you can’t be perfect and you never will be, you will learn that you will fail at things you thought you were good at, you will learn that you can be hard to love sometimes, you will learn that you have bipolar tendencies, you will learn that you cannot control your surroundings and you cannot make someone change or someone love you. You will learn to accept your fate and stop trying to change it. You will learn that life will scar you, and it will hurt you but it will also surprise you-sometimes in a good way, and one day you will look back and be able to connect the dots, one day you will look back and make sense of all the confusion, one day you will surprise yourself when you look at the image you had for your life and realize that it doesn’t resonate with you anymore and it doesn’t matter.

Ways To Make Peace With The Things You Can’t Change

1. You stop assuming what you lose is for the worst. I just realized that I lost my favorite book of all time. I’ve had it for two years. The pages are barely hanging on by threads, and it’s filled with notes and thoughts and underlined sentences and paragraphs. I’m pretty sure I left it in a coffee shop. My friend turned to me today and said: “It’s okay. Somebody who needed it — and your notes — got it. It was time to pass it on, and buy a new one, to highlight the things you didn’t see before.”

2. You stop assuming you know best. Inarguably, I am an idiot when it comes to my own life. I admit to this. I will be the first to laugh and tell you all the ways I’ve screwed up. I have wanted relationships that were objectively terrible for me, questioned the things that were so genuinely best for me it’s perplexing how one could mistake them. I’ve sullied my own happiness with worry, tried to control that which I couldn’t. Of everything, do you know what I’m most grateful for in this world? The fact that it never listened to me and some other force lead me to where I am. I am so grateful I never got what I thought I deserved. It’s the only thing I can bring myself to consider when I similarly believe that I’m wrongfully not getting something I want now.

3. You meditate on impermanence. Maybe not through literal, actual meditation (though that would be great of course) you have to remind yourself that the root of suffering is not just the impermanence of things, but our attachment to the things that are inevitably not going to last. If something isn’t enough for you in the time that you have it — be it a day, a month, a year — it’s never going to be enough. At the end of the day, you can’t keep it forever. You’d be losing it sooner or later. What’s more important is whether or not you appreciated having it in the first place.

4. You consider what you can change externally. Granted, external control is an illusion that will ultimately fail us all; attachment is a river that inevitably runs dry. But sometimes when you’re treading water, you need a little something to hold onto, no matter how temporary it is or mildly delusional you are for it. If there’s something you can externally change about your situation, do so. If there’s something you can say, a line you can draw, an opinion that’s yet to be voiced, go ahead and make sure you’ve exhausted all your options.

5. And then you focus on what you can change internally. I said this once (I don’t remember what article it was in, sorry) and I stand by it: most little things can be solved with a nap, a drink or a long talk with someone who wants to listen, and most big things have to be solved with an inner reconciliation. Allow that of yourself.

6. You face it until it doesn’t hurt anymore. I once heard someone explain our grown up fears as being similar to how we were afraid of the monster in the closet when we were little. All we really have to do is shine a light inside and realize that there’s nothing there. This kind of acknowledgment is different from attaching to it and creating and manifesting it in your life. It is different than holding onto a perception and then making it your reality. This is just acknowledging what is, and saying it out loud again and again and again until it the weight wanes off. Anybody who has done this can tell you how much it eases your heart and chest and soul. Don’t let the nonexistent monsters haunt you because you just don’t want to open the door.

You Choose, You Decide

Continuation from the last post..

You have determined your entire life up to, now by the choices and decisions you have made or failed to make. If there is anything in your life that you don’t like, you are responsible. If there is anything that you are unhappy about, it is up to you to take the necessary steps to change and improve it so that it is more to your liking.

As the President of your own personal services, you are completely responsible for everything you do and for the results of what you do. You are responsible for the consequences of your actions and your behaviours. You are where you are and what you are today because you have decided to be there.

In a large sense, you are earning today exactly what you have decided to earn, no more and no less. If you are not happy with your current income, decide to eaen more. Set it as a goal, make a plan, and get busy doing what you need to do to earn what you want to earn.

As the President of your own career and life, as the architect of your own destiny, you are free to make your own decisions. You are the boss. You are in charge.

Be motivated and inspired to want for more….

Mr. President!

In a research done some years back, researchers found that people who ranked in the top 3 percent in every field had a special attitude that set them apart from average performers in their fields. It was this: they viewed themselves as self employee throughout their careers, no matter who signed their paychecks/ salary. They saw themselves as responsible for their companies, exactly as if they owned the companies personally. You should do the same.

From this moment forward, see yourself as the President of your own personal services corporation. View yourself as self-employed. See yourself as being in complete charge of every part of your life and career. Remind yourself that you are where you are and what you are because of what you habe done or failed to do. You are very much the architect of your own destiny.

Inspired by life and goal coach Brian Tracy

Quotes That Will Give You The Resolve To Simplify Your Life

I have deep faith that the principle of the Universe will be beautiful and simple. – Albert Einstein


Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love. I like to work, read, learn, and understand life. – Langston Hughes


I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. – Henry David Thoreau


Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it. – Joshua Becker


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify. – Henry David Thoreau


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. – E.F. Schumacher


There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth. – Leo Tolstoy


Living simply makes loving simple. – bell hooks


If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself. – Albert Einstein


A person who could muster the courage to remove from his daily life the products that he basically doesn’t need would automatically delete the negative thoughts and the toxic people in his life. – Anuj Somany


I learned what is obvious to a child: that life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee and sometimes, on good days, for falling in love. – Nicholas Sparks

There is a level of consciousness between sleeping and fully wakening when the worries of the day have not settled upon us; the body is stilled, and the senses wholly receptive. If the sun is bright, there is pure silence, or the birds are beginning to sing, this shining level of consciousness can come to be the nearest we will get to paradise this side of our quietus, Every day should begin so, This is no dream. This is the reality. The world outside is beautiful. We do our best to hide it. We cover it. We push it father back. The ugliness we make ourselves. We originate our own worries. We put on our own shackles; build our prisons. We can only glimpse the golden reality, briefly, through our tiny barred windows. –John Wyatt


They think I’m simpleminded because I seem to be happy. Why shouldn’t I be happy? I have everything I ever wanted and more. Maybe I am simpleminded. Maybe that’s the key: simple. – Dolly Parton


I strongly believe that success is directly proportional to one’s ability to be simple and comfortable. In fact, simplicity and comfort have a multiplication effect, thus increasing the chances of expedited and sustained success. – Vishwas Chavan


Most things that are true are simple. To lose weight, eat less than you burn. To reduce stress, find a job you love. To resolve conflict, be patient and peaceful. These are very, very simple in that they are complete concepts that take no more than a sentence to say. They are not, however, easy, because they must be applied consistently. – Vironika Tugaleva

Progress is discovering what you can do without. – Marty Rubin


Manifest plainness/Embrace simplicity/Reduce selfishness/Have few desires. – Lao Tzu


I’ve found that the less stuff I own, the less my stuff owns me. – Nathan W. Morris


This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. – Dalai Lama XIV


Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. – Steve Jobs


The greatest wealth is to live content with little. – Plato


They learned to live contently with small things, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy not respectable, and to be rich not wealthy. They let the sacred and unconscious bloom amidst the common, rendering it all extraordinary. – David Paul Kirkpatrick


A simple man will have only what he needs, and he will know the difference between what he needs and what he wants. We feel that whatever we want, we desperately need. But before we possess the world, to our wide surprise we see that the world has already possessed us. – Sri Chinmoy


A person can be only shown a mirror, but it’s solely his duty to decide whether he wants to see his artificial beauty or natural personality.” – Anuj Somany

Practical Ways To Cope With Stress

When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you may feel that there’s nothing you can do about it. However, no matter how stressful your life seems, there are a few strategies that will help you cope with stress and release some of the pressure in your life.

1. Identify the source of your stress. Ask yourself what it is that’s causing you this stress, some reasons are more obvious than others; such as work or family problems but sometimes it’s our own fears and thoughts that are contributing to our stress. The best thing you can do is to write down what you think is causing you this stress and the best way to solve it.

2. Take a time-out. Sometimes you have to take a step back to avoid making quick or irrational decisions. Going for a walk, practicing yoga, listening to music or any other stress-free activity will help you get moving so you can prepare your mind for better thinking and regain control of the situation.

3. Accept that some things are out of your control. If the cause of your stress is something you can’t control then you should subtract that from the list. Try to accept the things you can’t change and focus on coping with the things that you can. It will put your stress in perspective.

4. Ask for help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out for support instead of bottling your feelings up. Let your friends or family know how they can help you and communicate your feelings to them.

5. Engage in social activities. The best way to de-stress is to go out and have a good time with the people you enjoy being around. Engaging in social activities that make you happy is a good distraction and helps you find motivation again.

6. Look at the bigger picture. Reframe your problems by asking yourself if they will matter in the long run. If the answer is no, then you have to start redirecting your energy to the stuff that really matters and declutter your mind.

7. Make sure it is not your vulnerability. Being extra sensitive or vulnerable makes you stress over the smallest things. If you are in a bad mood, even the smallest stressors can have a huge impact. Try to distinguish between your mood and your problems.

8. Get enough sleep. When you are stressed out, your body and your brain need more sleep to recover. A good night sleep can fuel your productivity and help you manage your stress better.

9. Manage your time. Don’t fill your calendar with plans you can’t commit to. This will only add to your stress and blur your vision even more. Make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you’ll find it easier to stay calm and focused.

10. Monitor your environment. If the people around you are stressing you out or bringing in more negativity, try limiting the amount of time you spend with them. If your social media feed is full of depressing news and negative statuses then maybe you should consider deactivating your accounts for a few weeks. Minor changes in your environment will help you reduce the stress and get back to calmer state of mind.

20 Simple Reminders To Keep You Going When You Don’t Know What To Do With Your Life

1. Believe that your calling is closer than you think. We spend so much time thinking about what our calling is and how we will fulfill it instead of trying to follow our curiosity or the excitement we feel towards something over the other.

2. Our calling may not be life-changing, but it guides our steps in the right direction. A lot of people think their calling has to be something extraordinary or magical, but sometimes our calling may be very real and ordinary but it has the potential to make our lives extraordinary.

3. Stop thinking that your life should be dramatic. We are all waiting for that big shot, that big moment where we turn our lives around, be filthy rich, and travel the world. This false belief is what leads us to be disappointed with our lives, thus we force ourselves to consider making big changes that doesn’t make sense to us thinking that this is the true definition of happiness.

4. The best way to figure out what we want to do with our lives is to keep making tiny strides toward a better life, making small changes one step at a time.

5. Once we find our calling, we shouldn’t let failure stop us. We have to keep trying over and over again. There is no such thing as beginner’s luck when it comes to our life’s purpose. The more we try, the wiser and smarter we will be and we will finally get it right one day.

6. Don’t romanticize the future or blame the past. When we feel lost, we have a tendency to blame our past for getting us to where we are now, so we romanticize a better future without really changing ourselves which only adds to our discomfort.

7. Although it is easier to play the blame game when we are not happy and we don’t want to hold ourselves accountable for our fate, but we have to remember romanticizing the future without actively finding ways to make it better will not change our lives.

8. The best thing we can do when we feel this way is to get real with ourselves about what went wrong in the past and how we can fix it so we can avoid falling for the same trap in the future.

9. It’s also good to remember that life is a bundle of contradictions and it will not always be the one we pictured or go exactly the way we wanted.

10. Read enriching books and turn off the TV. Reading invites us to a new world of lessons and guidance, the quiet moments we spend with our books can have a better effect than any show we watch on TV. Books cultivate & feed our minds and offer valuable lessons we wouldn’t learn anywhere else.

11. Success is subjective and doesn’t have a universal definition. There is no one right way to live or one definition to success. It is easy to get influenced by the fantasies, stories and movies around us but at the end of the day everyone will end up paving their own way to success.

12. Taking the time to discover our strengths will help us learn how to hone them in our current life roles, and give us more confidence in moving forward with our lives.

13. The first ingredient to deal with the uncertainty of life is learning how to be patient with yourself and everything around you, and the patience to wait for the life you truly desire.

14. The second ingredient is to practice letting go of all the unrealistic expectations we had, the old patterns that keep holding us back, and the resentment that consumes our heart and blurs our clarity.

15. Friends and family are here to support us; we should go to them when we feel lost, they can provide us with their help and wisdom and give us the pep talk we need to get back on our feet again.

16. Change is the only constant in life so we should do our best to embrace the changes that come our way and the changes within ourselves.

17. There is no deadline to our lives. Sometimes, we think we want to do something and then once we try it, we realize it might not be what we want after all. It’s not the end of the world – it’s how we know what doesn’t work so we can figure out what will work no matter how old we are.

18. Learning to be grateful for the small things will make a huge difference in our day to day. Adopting this outlook may help prevent us from over-emphasizing the importance of the bad things in our lives and give us a healthier attitude to deal with the discomfort of our current situation.

19. Even if we get what we want, we will be faced with new challenges and responsibilities tomaintain it.

20. “Good things take time” and “no one has it all figured out” are two powerful reminders we should repeat to ourselves whenever we feel like we don’t know what to do with our lives.

Things I Am Grateful For Today (And Always)

1. That humans are a self-healing species.

2. The infinitude of people wiser and more talented than I, because of whom I will always be able to learn more, see differently, understand better, and generally be entertained.

3. That anytime something hasn’t worked out the way I wanted it to initially, something better did. Always. Without fail.

4. My wife is with me when I was researching this. Been thankful for everything God has done for us.

5. The abundance of foods and cultures and restaurants and diners that exist in my little corner of the world, and that I get to taste a little bit of everything as often as I like.

6. I have never once in my life worried about being too cold in the winter because I couldn’t afford a sweater or jacket.

7. Friends who have loved me more than I loved myself, and who taught me how to love myself.

8. Hugs.

9. Cooking, and sharing it with others. It’s been something I have really grown a love for this past year.

10. That nothing lasts forever, which is, essentially, just a call to be present.

11. That I live in a hemisphere that experiences all four seasons.

12. Second chances. Third chances. Forgiveness. The ability to say: thank you for that experience, and mean it.

13. Nature. And trees. The after-rain smell, the springtime smell. Mountains and trails and and the fact that I have feet and legs to walk them.

14. The funny fact that the nature of realizing a problem is also you recognizing that there is a solution.

15. My job. The fact that I get to write every day. The other amazing writers and producers I get to read and work with and publish.

16. Coffee, and coffee shops at night.

17. A long meal in a dimly lit restaurant with a bottle of wine and someone you love.

18. The excitement of knowing you have reservations for a long meal in a dimly lit restaurant with a bottle of wine and someone you love.

19. That I have rent to pay, dishes to do, laundry to fold, and dinner to cook; because it means I have my own home, have eaten, am clothed, and have more food available to me.

20. How much joy the little things bring (knowing that that joy is always accessible.)

21. Finding a song you love so much you listen to it 20 times in a row and it just gets better and better with every word and riff and beat you start to memorize.

22. Handwriting anything.

23. Farmers markets.

24. The smell of someone you’re falling in love with, right when you’re falling in love with them.

25. The fact that there is no limit to the number of people we can fall in love with – and that it is possible to do so, each time, as wholly as we did before.

26. Confident people who live their lives and speak their truths and redefine beauty and greatness and wonder and what it means to LIVE just by the nature of their living. (People don’t become inspiring by trying to help others, just by being themselves.)

27. Kids. I envy teachers (though I acknowledge how much work they do and how crappy I’d be as one). Regardless, my real joy in life is playing games in my comfort zone and eating biscuit with a cup of fresh juice, watching my favourite season movies.

28. Warm, comfy beds.

29. The simple, perfect knowledge that my only real purpose is to be. Right here, just like this. My name will fade with successions of generations, and eventually, one day, nobody will know I existed. But for now, just for today, I am awake and alive to see and feel and breathe and live in a foreign, temporary body. If there is something more beautiful than that, show it to me, I’ll be surprised.

30. Everything I have healed, everything I have learned, and how being happy, being present, creating more, and being abundant in every way, always begins with thankfulness.

Reasons Why Young Adults Leave The Church

Around the world.

“Why do young adults leave the Church?” This question has been the subject of countless sermons, books, and (ahem) online articles. The concern of Churches and Christian parents is certainly justified. Life can be hard on teenagers, but the Church is a place where they can learn about God’s grace and draw strength from Christian fellowship. So why are so many of them choosing to leave?

Is it because of drugs? The Culture Wars? Same-sex marriage? Actually, according to Ed Stetzer on Christianity Today, their motivation is surprisingly plain. In a recent article, Stetzer lists six reasons why young adults leave the Church, beginning with the following three,

“We also asked young adults why they dropped out of church. Of those who dropped out, about 97 percent stated it was because of life changes or situations. That’s a pretty substantial number. Among their more specific reasons:

They simply wanted a break from church (27 percent).
They had moved to college (25 percent).
Their work made it impossible or difficult to attend (23 percent).”

Stetzer continues by saying,

“The reason that many church-attending young adults stopped going to church upon graduating from high school? Their faith just wasn’t personally meaningful to them. They did not have a first-hand faith. The church had not become a valued and valuable expression in their life—one that impacts how they live and how they relate and how they grow. Church was perhaps something their parents wanted them to do. They may have grown up in church, and perhaps they faced pressure from parents and even peers to be involved in church. But it wasn’t a first-hand faith.”

It’s surprising, but more often than not it’s the mundane things in life that can end up destroying our faith. Like the steady, subtle current of an ocean, small things can gently pull a person away from God. It’s not only teenagers who have to be vigilant either, any Christian can become a victim to small distractions. Chris Russell noted in a recent Crosswalk article that Christians can drift spiritually because of a busy schedule, misplaced affections, even abundance. He writes,

“We Americans are so fat with our own prosperity that we often make wealth our god and not the true King of heaven. This has also been a recurring theme throughout the entire Bible. People struggle, God blesses them, they become prosperous, and then they depart from God. Ironic, isn’t it?”

Having a strong faith is not just about attending Church or reading your Bible, it’s about making that faith your own. Faith is like a tree, it must be cultivated and grown by the individual, and no one else can do it. If Churches truly want to reach young adults, we must first teach them their importance of maintaining a personal faith.

What about you, what are your thoughts?

The Trap Of The Comfort Zone

The second mental obstacle that you need to overcome is the comfort zone. Many people become complacent with their current situations. They become so comfortable in a particular job or salary or any level of responsibility that they become reluctant ro make any changes at all, even for the better.

The comfort zone is a major obstacle to ambition, desire, determination, and accomplishment. People who get stuck in a comfort zone, if it’s combined with learned helplessness, are almost impossible to help in any way. Don’t let this happen to you.

Very short and precised but very important to take note of this trap.

Watch: Why Women Are More Anxious Than Men

By: Brianna Weist

I recently watched (and some of you may be familiar with) a set of social experiments in which a group of men and then a group of women agreed to go on a date with a person they met on Tinder – a model, who would be in a fat suit when they arrived.

The experiment claims to be based on the fact that number one fear for women dating online is that they’ll meet a serial killer, and the number one fear for men is that the woman will be fat.

Low and behold, when each of the men arrived and met their date, they were… offended. They were mad because they felt lied to, and did little to cover their displeasure with the woman’s appearance. Only one of them didn’t walk away or excuse himself to the bathroom – never to return. But none gave her a chance, or took any interest in getting to know who she was, all because she wasn’t thin.

Now, as I was watching this, I’ll be honest. I was thinking, well, okay, it’s not completely unreasonable to be off-put if you’re expecting one thing, and get another…

That was, until I saw the women’s video.

Not one of them walked away. They gave the guy a chance. They connected with him. They laughed at his jokes. They did acknowledge that they were disillusioned about his appearance, but they were not rude or entitled about it.

… And one of them kissed him at the end. Another offered up a second date. They got to know who he really was, because they were able to see past their expectations about what he should be.

Click to watch video for men

Click to watch for women

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that research shows women are twice as prone to anxiety as men, are twice as often diagnosed with anxiety disorders, and that women are significantly “more inclined toward negative emotion, self-criticism, and endless rumination about [their] problems.”

But here is the important part: we also know that this is not the result of a biological or hormonal difference. Indicating that it is, unsurprisingly, cultural.

Simply, women are not encouraged to honestly acknowledge their feelings and cope with them in proactive, mindful ways – and this is mostly to maintain how others perceive them.

Taylor Clark dubs this the “skinned knee effect,” wherein from a young age, boys are encouraged to confront their fears, and girls are encouraged to hide them. “If little Olivia shows fear, she gets a hug; if little Oliver shows fear, he gets urged to overcome it.”

And when these emotions “go underground,” they become ingrained in the subconscious, and then begin to have a huge and often overlooked impact on day-to-day interactions.

Studies also tell us that women tend to be insidiously competitive, jealous and spiteful toward other women, especially those they are close to. Because they are taught not to win at someone else’s expense (to be a perpetual people-pleasers and peace-makers) their healthy, natural, normal, innate competitiveness must become tempered.

And the more it is inhibited, the more it remains unacknowledged. As anybody can tell you, as soon as you pack a feeling away in a dark closet… it becomes a potential monster that you have to prepare yourself for – and that feeling of dread and suppression begins to bleed into otherwise unthreatening, daily situations.

Though these are just a few examples plucked from the pile of research on the anxiety gender gap, the point is that anxiety is, in an abstract sense, the anticipation that something ‘bad’ is coming, or the fear that one cannot handle it.

More accurately, the fear that they cannot hide it.

It’s the running idea that bad things cannot be dealt with because feelings cannot be felt. And so the fear of them, the fear of losing culturally-induced composure, compiles into anxiety. Intense anxiety. Unbearable anxiety that remains dormant until something sets it off and it crops up endlessly. “I know this sense of panic and urgency is coming from somewhere… and so I must search for it, project it and deal with it in ways that aren’t actually addressing the root of the problem.”

Women suffer greater anxiety than men because they’re taught… not to. They’re denied simply being honest about their feelings, and most often in a way that convinces them it will yield positive results. It will make people love them. They will seem “together.”

But at what cost?

In terms of the women in the experiment, certainly they were kinder, more positive, and opened themselves up to the possibility for real romance, but only because they were conditioned to be just that: open, accepting and willing, no matter what.

Who is to say they were actually interested in that man? I certainly am not. But what we do know is that the men who were not interested in their date didn’t have to pretend for the sake of someone else’s feelings.

There isn’t an anxiety gap. There is an honesty gap, and there is a decency gap. There’s a middle ground on which we each need to rest a foot: that you can be honest without hurting someone intentionally, that you can cope with your feelings without being violent or cunning about it, and most importantly, that it’s human to feel on edge when your instincts are being compressed. That the most we need to do is let our inner demons out and discover they were nothing more than the fear that they could be something else.

Let me know what you think about this by commenting your opinion.

The Incredible Power of Taking Risks in Life

There are many ways to change your life for the better. And one simple, yet seemingly scary choice we can make is to be taking more risks in life.

The problem with this path to positive change is that most of us fear taking risks!

may fear rejection, failure and change. We may fear uncertainty.

We think about taking a risk and our innate fight/flight response kicks in.

On top of that, many of us have a warped relationship with fear, where we think fear is bad, and that we should stay away form it.

But actually fear isn’t bad, and neither is risk!

In fact, risk is the very thing that can make us feel alive, and the fear we get with taking risks is just a feeling message to tell us that we’re going outside of our familiar comfort zone.

What’s the worst that could happen?

For many of us, it’s all too easy to get stuck into a routine that provides comfort and safety. But, we have to ask ourselves, are we truly living?

Yes, some risks shouldn’t be taken because the consequences could be disastrous. Howeveyourself. a little bit of discernment, we can take calculated risks that will benefit us regardless of the outcome.

Say for instance, you see an attractive person in a coffee shop, and you want to say hi. What’s the worst that could happen? They’re not interested, but you took that risk which ultimately didn’t hurt you in the end. And doing so likely boosted your courage. So no regrets! It’s all about the attitude you take.

Or there are more serious risks that you could be taking, such as leaving the job you aren’t so thrilled about, or moving to a new country. Again, what is the worse that could happen? If things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to, at least you learnt a lot more about yourself and the world in the process. Plus, you can always go home and go back to the same type of job if you want to!

Risks help to build confidence & open up possibilities

By taking risks, you give yourself permission to try things out, to learn, to fail, to grow and to explore. You get to test your limits and go beyond what you believed was possible. You can to go after the things in life you really want!

By doing this, you naturally build up your self-confidence, growing as a person and opening up a whole new world for yourself.

By taking risks you get better at knowing what you want

Risks helps you to get clear on what you want out of life.

They make you more consciously aware of what is important to you, what you want and don’t want, as part of your planning and decision making process.

Just the level of clarity you get from planning to take a risk helps you to feel more empowered and in control, as the leader of your life and the master of your own destiny.

Risk taking builds self-trust

When you take a risk, you generally do so with awareness after balancing your logic and intuition, to decide what is best for you. By taking action aligned to your own inner compass in this way, you build a level of trust in yourself.

And trusting yourself and knowing when to take action on something you really want only serves to further elevate your self-confidence.

Risks make life exciting and colorful

What would happen if we never took risks?

Life would become monotonous and boring. Nobody wants a boring life, yet it’s such an easy option to resort to, in order to stay safe and in our comfort zones.

It boils down to making a decision.

Although your heart may be racing, and your palms many be sweating, think about what would happen if you didn’t take the chance?

Would you regret the missed opportunity?

We only have this one life, why not stretch yourself to new heights! You never know what could happen… and isn’t that exciting?

Take action starting from today

You don’t need to jump head first into a tonne of risks, but you can practise the art of taking one small risk each day.

It can be as simple as saying hello to someone new, learning a new skill or applying for a new job. Whatever your comfort threshold is, start testing it out each and every day.

Because this is where real growth happens. Ultimately, this risk-taking habit alone will transform your life!

Are We Over- Protecting Our Children?

This post was first posted on Breakpoint.

Maybe you’ve heard that phrase “killing them with kindness”? According to some, that may be what our culture is doing to today’s college students, at least psychologically.

Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston College, sees what he calls “declining student resilience.” At one major university, “emergency calls to counseling had more than doubled over the past five years. Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life.”

Gray said that one student felt traumatized because her roommate had called her a nasty name. Two others sought counseling because they’d seen a mouse in their off-campus apartment. They called the police, who, he says, “kindly arrived and set a mousetrap for them.” The Atlantic calls this kind of thing “the coddling of the American mind.”

Many of these emotionally stunted students can’t handle a bad grade, and their professors live in fear of negative student reviews or lawsuits. Or as one director of counseling said, “There has been … a decrease in the ability of many young people to manage the everyday bumps in the road of life.”

What’s going on? Dan Jones, the past president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, points at parents, saying, “[Students] haven’t developed skills in how to soothe themselves, because their parents have solved all their problems and removed the obstacles. They don’t seem to have as much grit as previous generations.”

In other words, there’s been way too much helicopter parenting!

Cameron Cole, a youth pastor in Alabama, knows that overly protecting our kids isn’t biblical. Pain, after all, is part of spiritual growth. “On Jesus’s way to redeeming the world he encountered betrayal, injustice, torture, violence, condemnation, imprisonment, and alienation,” Cole writes. “How deluded I am when I think an alternate path exists for my child’s ‘hoped for’ service to God’s kingdom. He will not wear the crown … unless he bears a cross.”

Too many kids take the easy path, which is the only path they’ve ever known. They’re afraid to fail so they avoid risk at all costs. But our faith teaches us risky obedience to God, knowing He’s in control.

I’m reminded of this point every time I speak with my friend Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned pastor Saeed. Jesus said, “I’m with you always.” And let’s not forget, “Nothing shall be impossible.” So let’s share this bracing perspective with our sons and daughters, and live by it.

And let’s not forget that college students in former generations followed this God of the impossible. In 1886, Dwight L. Moody presided over a meeting of 251 college students in Massachusetts. They came from all over the country, and eventually an interest grew in foreign missions. As ChristianHistory.net reports, one of the students, Robert Wilder, organized a meeting for all of those interested in missions, and 21 young people showed up. He later wrote, “Seldom have I seen an audience under the sway of God’s Spirit as it was that night. The delegates withdrew to their rooms or went out under the great trees to wait on God for guidance.”

When the conference was over, 100 students had committed themselves to become overseas missionaries. It was the start of a movement that saw tens of thousands of people carry the gospel around the globe. Is such a passion still conceivable for us?

Yes! But the key is what I learned in my years of teaching teens and college students: Remove the bubble wrap. And like Moody, encourage them toward a God-sized vision for their lives. Help them see their giftedness and how it relates to the needs in their world, so that they can pursue their role in God’s restoration of all things under the lordship of Christ.
And as their leaders, parents, and mentors we need to give them permission to try . . . and room to fail.

Source: Breakpoint